Respected foodservice operator Peter Hazzard passed away this morning following a long illness.
Hazzard, who worked at contract catering giants Gardner Merchant and Sodexo for many years, was a former chairman of the London Regional Board at Hospitality Action (HA) and a trustee. He joined the board of trustees at HA in 2006, but stepped down at Christmas due to ill health. He was 65.
He held the position of food services director at Sodexo from 1995 to 2004, where he was responsible for the development of craft skills, new product development, and food systems and services for a range of high-profile clients including Ascot, the Scottish Parliament, Eton College, London Business School, Aldershot Garrison and the Royal Marsden.
Hazzard left Sodexo to launch his own independent hospitality and leisure business, Chaddlewood Consulting, in 2004.
Prior to his role at Sodexo, he held the position of managing director at Gardner Merchant. Gardner Merchant changed its name to Sodexo in 2000.
A fellow of the Institute of Hospitality, Hazzard was a graduate of Brooklands College, Weybridge. Later in his career, he gained an MSc in hotel and catering management at Oxford Brookes University.
Phil Hooper, brand and communications director for Sodexo UK & Ireland, commented: "Peter made a substantial contribution to our industry. He was one of the first to understand that foodservice really was about providing great food to all our customers, whatever sector they came from. He was also the first real foodie that applied his passion to a company. He was a great guy and good friend and will be sadly missed."
Penny Moore, chief executive of HA, added: "Peter was a great supporter of Hospitality Action for many years. He actively raised funds during his time at Sodexo and was a founding member of our London fundraising board, which raised almost £1m during his time as chair. He was a trustee of the charity for 10 years, stepping down only recently."
David Mulcahy, craft and food development director at Sodexo and vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said: "Peter Hazzard was one of the industry's leading figures with his passionate approach to chefs and the hospitality industry as a whole. Over many years Peter was a driving force within Sodexo for the chef community.
"He can be credited with the success of culinary team activity, drawing attention to Sodexo's strong culinary heritage and always being a champion of the chef. Peter is fondly remembered and will be sorely missed."